Sunday, March 6, 2011
city of strangeness and light
My dear sisters and anyone else who is reading this ,
I must greet you from the valley of central Europe with a ray of hope and sunshine in my writing that spring is very near.
The earth is waking up and the air smells sweet and earthy with sun shining everywhere.
A great advantage to living in the centre of the european continent is that it does not rain so often as it does at more coastal areas.
I really do love the light here.
But the wind is cold and windy , the warm spring air is still snoozing under a winter blanket , but atleast we have passed the continental minus seventeen and are now between three and eight degrees which feels almost tropical. ( actually today it was 12 degrees and sunny )
By the way , this is a dog i met when getting the best kafe latte in town form the best cakes shop in town. It happens to be near my school which is very convenient.
I liked how the colours of the dog matched the colours of the cake shop window cake.
This cakes place is a dream in itself , its about eighty years old and the interior is kept original to the 1930's classy style. The cakes are pricey but they are miracles to look at and the taste is heavenly. I always go there when i need a boost.
Please take a look at their website Erhartova
and fall inlove instantly with these painterly masterpieces of cakes.
I am glad to announce that i survived the dancing ball this year.
As you may or may not know , it is dancing ball season from december to march in Czech republic.
This is serious business.
There are many different sorts of balls, but all of them consist of a local band playing music, a dancing platform and a tombola.( Oh and a lot of alcohol seems to be present aswell) The Hunter's ball is quite a favourite because the first prize in tombola is a living pig. Many years ago i was hanging out with a hunting group of friends and we went to this ball and won a live white rabbit with red eyes. It was huge! about the size of a medium dog and quite angry so the friends just put him in a wooden hut in the garden as a pet. Yes , those were my wild hunting days. I remember them well.
This year it was the sports ball , and the first prize of the tombola was a bicycle.
We won two bottles of white wine from that region, which is quite good wine, there are lots of vinyards in the south of moravia.
Have you never heard of czech wine ? No ?
Well, now you have.
Anyway , moving on, let me give you the setting.
The ball was held in the cultural centre of the village where my boyfriend comes from.
The cultural centre is the local gym where basketball is played now and again because they dont have enough money to make a seperate building.
I thought that was quite fitting though for a sport's ball.
Dont worry , I was quite confused too in the beginning, not quite knowing what a sport's ball was and imagining I had to turn up in jogging gear and football boots.
But no, everyone dresses to kill , suits and silk dresses , mafia shoes, complicated hairstyles, high heels.
The lighting is not the best I have ever experienced, not really what you call ambient lighting, more just very loud neon lights blazing down onto your face making you squint and want to play basketball.
Too much light can slighty damage a social event, but as I already mentioned I survived.
The band consisted of one man with moustache on the keyboard , one man on the bass guitar and two women singing. It was terrible music. They played extremely slow.
Now im not known as a party pooper and I did get up and dance a few times, trying to make the best of the situation.
In the end it was actually quite fun and my boyfriend's friends were very nice and jolly once they got a bit of magic ethanol in their blood stream. The high light of the evening was when one of his friends won a huge dustbin with the tombola.
He got into his dustbin , closed the lid; got wheeled onto the dancing platform and made a little performance of appearing out of the bin. It was quite amusing.
No really, im being serious.
Since this cultural experience I have started to look at Prague the city with even more loving eyes. But dont get me wrong, I love the special charm of villages as well, just as long as I dont have to be there longer than a few days. I love the country air and all its freshness and glowing of cheeks. As in all countries in the world there is a big difference between rural and city life. Both are full of stories and interesting people.
The other day we went with a little group of 14 friends ( normal nice friends, not hunter gang or sports gang involved) for a day trip to the countryside. We walked ten km through lush forests to a pub where the food was scrumpcious ,and the service was friendly which is a real miracle over here. There was a castle in this village but we didn't manage to visit it as we had to catch the early train back to Prague. And anyway all castles are closed in winter months in Czech republic.
So we digested the other 8km in lovely late afternoon sunshine.
Whilst walking through the gorgeous forests we sometimes passed through a little village, which consisted of one cake shop completely full ( i think all inhabitants were inside this cake shop) and special architecture for an old people's home that actually resembles a specific czech cake that is pink and yellow.
Oh and this is the tv repair shop of the vilage, I thought that was quite funny how very high tech it looked.
We managed to lose one person , which is not too bad considering the big group. Ofcourse this person didnt have his mobile phone with him, and as we were a big group we only noticed he was missing at the train station. He made a wrong turning in the forest somehow , and when he finally got to the village he reported himself to the police as a missing person and kindly asked the police to ring his girlfriend, but she was already looking for him and phoning us to ask if he was already at the train station.
Anyway, all's well that ends well.
Half of the group went back to Prague on the early train which took only two hours and the other half went back on the later train which took three hours.
Luckily we were in the early train, fully confident they would find the missing person and secretly wanting to get back to Prague as soon as possible. 18 kilometres walk is quite tiring and so is a lot of fresh air.
We were all glad to get back to the wonderful city of Prague, full of culture , civilisation and old skiing men wearing shorts !
Apparently this man is famous in Prague ( Prague is a small city ) as the always shorts wearing man , whatever the weather.
Its like this other famous man i met in Kolin ( a big town about 50 km from Prague) who is known for parading his handmade wig which resembles a squirrel on his head.
I made a painting of him in his honour. I admire his pride.
And here is a lovely picture to end my brabbles.
Take care, lots of inspiration and love,